Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holiday To You All!!!

As the day is ending, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, and your bellies are full.  I'm finishing us dinner right now as we speak.  Mr. D had to work today, so we're not having Christmas dinner for another hour or so.  As my friends and family have dubbed me Santa's little elf helper, I have been very busy the past couple of months getting all of my gifts ready.  I decided this year had to be a handmade Christmas, and every present was well received.

There were pajama bottoms with matching t-shirts which I purchased from Joanns;

reversible place mats with matching napkins;

about 28 jars of sugar scrubs, hand/body creams, body butters, sorry no pictures of the body butter;

a skirt (this picture is before hemming and adding the waistband

a dress( for some reason I don't have a really good picture of the finished dress)

2 sets of Penn State Pajama bottoms and t-shirts from Joanns( I don't know why this picture is like this.  In my saved pictures it's actually right side up.  Oh well.

doggie collar covers

doggie cookies

a new hoodie for Jack(I copied this hoodie from one that I purchased for Jack a couple of years ago.

new scarf for Mr. D to match a hat I made him last year; and

a hat and scarf set for my mother.

 Her new coat isn't ready yet, but I cut the pattern pieces out and she's totally hands on with it and approved of the colors.  The pattern is McCall 6456.

Enjoy your evening.  I know I'm going to try to.  It back to work for me tomorrow.  So not looking forward to it, but at least it's a short week.  I'm heading back to the kitchen.  I've got to put my pie in the oven and make more body cream.  Next up, a few Christmas goodies I received.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Rock and Roll!!

I had a gig last night and during the week I thought a new outfit was in order.  The first thing I thought of was leather pants.  I must have been channeling the inner biker chick in me or something.  I also figure I can wear them when I go for a ride with Mr. D on his bike.  I had some faux leather that I purchased from Jomar a couple of years ago lying around, and I wanted something a little different than regular leather pants, so I decided to go with McCall 6440, View C, a Palmer Pletsch pattern.  I've made these pants a couple of times before (I know I haven't blogged about them), so them went together pretty fast and it was straight forward for me.

The front of the pant leg is plain but the back of the pant leg is actually two pieces.

For that I decided to do one side in the faux leather and the other side in double knit purchased at Metro Textiles a couple of years ago.

I thought the effect worked out pretty nicely.  It gives you that BAM!! effect when you turn around.  At the end of the night the guys I play with told me they wanted me to wear them again on our next club gig.  They are so funny.

The top I chose to wear with the pants was a Today's Fit pattern, Vogue 1291.

Cennetta had suggested I purchase this pattern during the summer when it came out and so it's been in my pattern stash ever since. The fabric I used for it was purchased from Fabric Warehouse last year.

My favorite feature of this blouse is the sleeve.  For a little bit of a change instead of doing a normal neckline where everything laid flat, I did a quarter of an inch stand up collar.  I thought it was kind of cool.  I also got a chance to use my new rolled hem foot.  If you don't have one, put it on your wish list for Christmas or your birthday.  It's a very nice tool to have and use on thinner type fabrics.  It gives your project a nice finished look.

If you have this pattern in your stash please make it up.  If you don't, add it to your list to purchase and make.  Overall the whole outfit was a win, win, and I got to do some stash busting which is always a plus.  Hope everyone had a nice weekend.  Enjoy your week ahead.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Surviving the Storm, McCall 6656 & Chicken Pot Pie, Oh My!!!

Well, the power is finally back on and everyone is safe, sound and warm.  When I think about all the families that are still not back in their homes or have suffered greater loss, I realize how lucky we really are.  Thank you all for your well wishes and prayers.  It meant so much.

Since I could not get any sewing done during my few days off from work, I got to get some reading done and cut out a jacket to get me through the cold weather that is slowly starting to move in.  I purchased a faux shearling from London Textiles sometime ago and there was barely a 1 yard and 5/8 left.

 The shearling had fur on the inside of the jacket so I knew that I would not have to put a lining inside the jacket but I wanted a pattern that would work well with the shearling.  Then I saw McCall 6656 which is one of the new McCall patterns.

I knew it was the perfect pattern for this piece of fabric and I saw the yardage needed, I knew at once it was kismet.  It didn't hurt that there were princess seams to boot I might add.  I made View A.

This pattern was pretty straight forward and I was able to sew it together in only a few hours.  I did my cutting on Wednesday while we had light and when the power came back on Thursday afternoon, I did my sewing.  In my head I was not going to be off for 4 days and not have any sewing to show for it.

In trying to give my jacket a more finished look, I tried to pay attention to the fine details.  Since I wasn't using a lining due to the fur lining, there was a seams everywhere.

I didn't not mine that inside the coat because of course, no one sees that and it's fine in a faux shearling, but this jacket has a shawl collar and in putting the collar together, there is a seam straight down the middle of it.  I was not liking that at all.  I toyed with sewing an extra strip of fabric on as a design element or putting a leather strip on then just by chance as Lola was modeling the jacket for me I happened to just fold the seam over and it laid pretty flat so I opted to just sew it down making the seam less noticeable. I drawn a circle on the next picture to show you where the actual seam is.

Here is the same picture again without the circle.

And now a full view of the back.

The pattern calls for you to sew 2 inch pieces of elastic on the jacket to loop over buttons as closures.  I was not keen with that idea so I placed a toggle button closure with leather strips on the front of the jacket.

Right now I only have one closure on and I'm still deciding where I want to place the other one or even if I need it at all.

I also rounded the bottom edge of the jacket instead of leaving it square as the pattern dictates.  I thought it looked a little nicer that way.

I wore my jacket to work yesterday and got quite a few compliments. My knitting buddies saw it Thursday night and thought I had purchased the jacket, then they proceeded to tell me that I made them sick.

I smiled and stated I'd be more than willing to teach them but they are of the mindset right now that one craft is enough.  By the way there is enough shearling leftover to make a coat for Jack.  When it done I'll take pictures so you can see him in it.  I had him running around in it last night for a fitting.  He looked like a little doggie pimp.  All the lady dogs in the neighborhood do love him.  The collar on the coat reminds me of Little Lord Fauntleroy.

I can't wait until it's finished. 

As promised, Linda and Adelaide here is the chicken pot pie recipe I promised.  The original recipe is on Cooking.com here.

Chicken Pot Pie

For the Filling:
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 skinless, boneless whole chicken breast, about 1 1/2 lb total cut into strips
1 to 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 tablespoons of fresh chives
3 tablespoons of chopped parsley(I use the Italian one)
2 ½ cups of carrots (about 3 or 4 carrots cut about an inch thick)
3 celery stalks cut about an inch to an inch and half thick
10 oz pearl onions, peeled (I cut each onion into 4 pieces
1 cup of peas
3/4 cup of corn
½ cup of frozen mixed veggies (optional but I like it.)
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
7 tablespoons of flour
1 cup of milk ( I use 1% but whatever you have in the fridge will be fine)
1 egg lightly beaten to use for coloring (place to the side.  This will be used at the end.

For the Crust, you can make your own or be like me and just buy pie crust from the store.

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the stock to a simmer. Add the chicken and simmer, uncovered, until opaque throughout, 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the chicken cool in the liquid. Remove the chicken, and place the stock to the side to be used later. You should have about 2 1/2 cups stock. Set aside.

Bring a saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil and salt lightly. Add the carrots and cook over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes. Add the celery, pearl onions and peas, corn and mixed veggies and cook until all are barely tender, about 3 minutes longer. Drain well; set aside.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk until the mixture is gently bubbling and smooth, 2-3 minutes; do not brown. Gradually add the reserved stock, whisking constantly, and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until smooth and slightly thickened, 4-5 minutes. Add the milk and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce coats the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt and pepper to taste, the thyme, chives and parsley.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Add the chicken and vegetables to the sauce and stir to combine. Spoon into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Brush the edge of the dish with some of the beaten egg.

Unroll your pie dough and place it on the top of your baking dish covering the pie mixture.  Make sure to press the edges firmly so that the mixture does not bubble out.  Trim away the overhang. and use the scraps to decorate the top if you wish.  Brush the top with the rest of the beaten egg mixture and cut three slits into the center of the pie.

Bake until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let sit for about 5 minutes then spoon into bowls.

The first time I had this I liked it a lot but wished there was more pastry so the next time I’m going to try it with pastry on the bottom of the baking dish as well as on the top.

Have an awesome weekend!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Recovering From Sandy

I'm posting this from my cellphone ( just got the ability to use that back late last night) since we still have no power. We lost that shortly after I wrote my post on Monday around 4:15 pm. I'm hoping it comes back soon, but PSE&G has it stated that the latest we should be getting power back is Monday, November 5th. I think that's crazy since 2 develops away got there's back yesterday afternoon. Oh well trying to stay positive.

As soon as I can I'll have full reviews up on the skirts and I'll post the chicken pot pie recipe as well.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Carnival of Skirts 1 and 2

Skirt number 1 and 2 are finished.  I was able to get skirt number 1(McCall 6402) finished on Thursday night. 

It should have been completed last weekend but when I went to get a zipper out of my stash on Sunday, I found that I didn't have one.

Off to Joanns I went but when I got back home I got a little busy making a chicken pot pie so that pretty much took up my evening. 

Peeling veggies can sometimes be time consuming, but it was so worth it and everyone loved it. 

I must tell you right now that I enjoyed making this skirt so much.  The pattern is very well put together and I didn't have any problems at all. 

I would just stress to anyone that intends to make this skirt that you take your time as there are quite a few pieces to piece together to make up the skirt front and back. 

Skirt number 2 is Burda Style 08/2012 # 112,  I traced the pattern out Saturday night and was able to sew it up and install the zipper all in one night.  I call this my ebony and ivory lace brocade skirt.

I got a call from Lisette a few weeks ago and during our conversation she proceeded to tell me that there was this brocade fabric she saw at Joanns and she just knew I would love it.  In my head I was like "can't hear you,  laa, laa, laa, laa, laa, not buying fabric, stash is too big, don't need anymore right now.  Of course, when I went to Joanns for the last Vogue sale, for some reason I walked over to the brocades and checked them out.


I came home with a yard and a quarter of the fabric with a skirt in mind, and to call Lisette to give her piece of my mind.  When I talked to her, she then mentioned that the fabric would be perfect for this Burda skirt, but I told her I didn't know if I had enough since the pattern call for a little more fabric.

Fast forward to Saturday night.  I laid my pattern pieces out and as Tim Gunn says, made it work.  There is no fabric left over, and I LOVE my skirt.  Oh yeah, let me tell you, this fabric is crazy to work with.  I don't know how other pieces of brocade fabric are, but this fabric was a beast to work with.  It kept shredding because of the loose weave of the fabric I suppose.  I have now learned from Miss Sheila that I should interface the fabric to reinforce it.  For some reason I know that, but I forgot.  Oh well, next time.

We are sitting pretty at home today with Hurricane Sandy approaching very fast.  From the news it looks like we are going to get it pretty hard tonight.  Right now we're just seeing a lot of wind and rain.  My cellphone and Kindle are fully charged just in case we lose power and I'm getting ready to cut out skirt #3.  I hope those of you in the storms range are safe and warm and for everyone else, please have a great week.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Hello, Hello, Hello!!!

Is anyone still there? (knock) (knock)  I know it's been a hot minute but the house of Andrea has been in an uproar due to more health issues and the craziness of everyday life.  Hope you all are well, I'm working on getting things back to normal and I have tons of stuff to blog about that I've made over the last few months.  Lets just say, I got a lot of knitting done, and I was also able to go on vacation with Mr. D to see my father while I left my mother in very good hands.  To start me back up and get my feet moving, I have joined Faye's Carnival of Skirts Sew-a-long.  You can check me and all the other crafty ladies out there to see what we are up to for the next two weeks.  Let me tell you, the list of ladies is impressive.

 My first skirt is going to be. McCall 6402, View B, the color block version.  For the life of me, I can't understand why this skirt is now an OOP since it only came out in the last year, but go figure.
One of the places I visited on vacation was Savannah, GA and while there I got a chance to visit two fabric spots, Fabrika and Hancocks.  The fabric pieces being used for this project are from these two stores. One is a tweed look and the other is a solid black with a little character. 

I purchased a fabric bundle from Fabrika and knew right away that the 2 larger pieces would be used for skirts.  Originally I had planned that the piece I would use for this skirt from the fabric bundle would be the main center pieces on the skirt, but I washed the piece last weekend and realized after washing it that  1) it has wool in it. I'm allergic, I'm hoping the lining will take care of that problem and still allow me to wear it because I really like this fabric. 2) the fabric fluffed up after washing so there is a little less of it now, but I was able to fit the side pieces on there with no problem which might in my case be better with the whole wool thing. We'll see.  Anyway, I'm still deciding on my second skirt.  I'm leaning towards Burda Style 08/2012 # 112, but I'm not sure yet. 

 I haven't traced it out yet and don't have fabric picked out.  One of my other choices might be Vogue 8837. Katherine Tilton skirt.  

It's a great use of double knit, and I could use a few longer skirts for the winter months.  Well that's all for now, I gotta go work on my skirt.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

When I'm Looking for Mojo

There are times when I’m sewing that I don’t know what to make next, and it isn’t because the mojo isn’t flowing, but that maybe I have too many ideas running around in my head and I can’t just pick one, or I see something and it makes me want to add another garment to the ever growing list. You know the one that never seems to get smaller. Then of course the list gets revamped and I don't know what to make first.

Thank goodness that time is not now, but when that problem does arise, like after arriving home from PR Weekend, I start re-evaluating/assessing everything. What I’m doing and what I’ve learned. I pulled out some of my sewing books and ordered a few new ones. I started reading and educating myself more on my sewing and my sewing list is getting longer with the plans I’m making. I have talked to a few sewing buddies to see where their heads are at and in the meantime to keep my fingers limber, I made another maxi for my neighbor (don't have any pictures of her in it yet)as a thank you for watching my mom while I was at PR Weekend I have done some alterations on a few pairs of pants for my mother-in-law.  I also made the Rachel Comey skirt from V1247, but that will be another post very soon.

I also got a chance to try out the kimono t-shirt top by Maria Denmark. I don’t know about any of you, but I’m always in search of the perfect t-shirt pattern for a TNT, and this one is making the grade so far. I don’t have any other patterns to compare it to and if the shoe fits as they say, wear it. If you don’t know about this one yet, check it out.  It’s very simple and uses very little fabric (just two pattern pieces). It’s great for those

leftover pieces of 7/8 to 1 yard fabric pieces you may not know what to do with. Here is my first attempt and here is the fabric that I have picked out for the other three, one of which will be a belated birthday gift for a friend.

In other sewing news, I just started working on V8633.  The fabric I chose to use is a piece that I picked up during PR Weekend at Virgo Fabrics, a store that Sheila took me to. There were only 2 yards left of this stretch cotton twill fabric and when I saw it, I had to have it. I am lining it in some cream cotton batiste that I also purchased from Metro Textiles during PR Weekend. In picking this project, it was the fabric that was calling to me first and then I chose a pattern that would best compliment the fabric. You have to do that sometimes because you don’t want the detail to be lost in the fabric. I’ll try to keep you posted on my progress as I go along.

On the knitting front, I am finally finished with a crochet project I started a few months ago.  I was a little slow on it because I designed it as I went, so there was a lot of ripping out and figuring out as I went along.  

My office manager asked me to make her a sweater based on a knit pattern that she picked out from one of my books that I showed her. The pattern was all messed up, and she wanted a few changes on the look of the garment so I figured why not design it, so I change the design from knit to crochet and then I knit the ruffled collar. I am loved how this sweater turned out and already started another one for myself in red but the length is not as long.  This was a very good experience for me and showed me that my designing skills are still alive and kicking.


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